Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
- But wait, there’s more…
In one of the most viewed hockey games in years, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals to take home professional sport’s most distinguished trophy – the Stanley Cup.
The game itself wasn’t a classic by any means, with both teams spending most of the night awaiting a mistake by the other instead of creating their own chances – not exactly the sort of play Gary Bettman would have wanted to see during his never-ending battle to sell the sport to the American public – but the game ended in a flurry of excitement despite hockey’s best player sitting sidelined on the bench.
Sidney Crosby had to leave the ice in obvious pain after taking a questionable hit from Johan Franzen of the Red Wings in the second period of play. Crosby missed the remainder of the game with the exception of one shift during the third period. Clearly the Detroit faithful enjoyed seeing an injured player as they cheered as Crosby left the ice with his obvious injury. Of course, these same fans must be used to seeing such blatant attempts to injure (cue Niklas Kronwall’s hit on Martin Havlat in these same playoffs when Detroit played Chicago) and this is a team that calls Chris Chelios a respected leader (cue the Chelios elbow against Philadelphia many years ago).
Still, what has been most of the talk around hockey circles since this game? Naturally, it’s Sidney Crosby’s snub. Yes, apparently the biggest news is the fact that Crosby arrived at the traditional handshake line late after celebrating his Stanley Cup win. I’m not making this up. While this writer watched the Penguins celebrate and the joy on Crosby’s face I hoped that Sid, the most influential player in the game today, would send the message that dirty play should not be condoned – especially when our beloved commissioner has made it all but impossible for these sorts of players to be held accountable for their actions.
So, to all the writers, hockey analysts and, ahem, fans that dislike a player who leads by quiet example instead of flamboyant cockiness: check out whose name is engraved on hockey’s holy grail for the 2008-2009 season the next time you’re given the privilege of viewing the Stanley Cup. Yes, it’s the name of the youngest captain of a championship team.